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The tide is turning | How travel nurses, techs can prepare now - Atlas All Access 115

The tide is turning. The curve is beginning to flatten -- thanks to the work of our healthcare professionals and good social distancing.

So what's next?

We know it's stressful and things can feel rough right now. Cancelations are real. And those high-rate jobs can be ephemeral. Here are insights into what to expect, what to plan for, and things you can do now to prep for that wave breaking and jobs opening up.

Whether you work with Atlas MedStaff or another travel healthcare agency, this is advice you can plan for and put to work for your own success.

Rich Smith: Hey, back in the office, back to normal, right? No, not really. If you felt it, you're not wrong. We're feeling it too. The tide has turned a little bit. It's starting to flatten, like we thought. I mean it depends on where you consume news, right? You're getting different stories and what to believe, what not to believe. I get it. However, there is a very definite flattening that's happening, especially on the coast. I know New York is still being hit very, very hard. The Midwest has felt some, but not a ton. I think we're starting to see because of those cancellations, which you're seeing everywhere, that maybe some of it was overestimated, which is fine. At least they were trying, but the cancellations are happening so what do you do from here? I think that's what I want to talk about today.

Rich Smith: As much as it's not business as usual back out there on the floor with us, the backdrop may look familiar, but it definitely isn't what we're used to seeing. That's for sure. Cancellations are up considerably. There are some hospitals that are canceling all of their travelers. This is a real thing. It's really happening. It's not just something you're reading on the internet. Whether you trust or not, it is a real thing and we're feeling it, especially some of the larger vendors out there, the larger MSPs, the larger VMSs are starting to cancel. What do you do? How do you protect yourself? You're still a travel nurse and you're still a traveling healthcare professional. That's not going to change for most all of you.

Rich Smith: Whether you go perm or not, I mean that could be an option. I get it. Some people are doing that, but you're still a traveling healthcare professional and what does that mean for you? From our end, what it means is you have the option now of moving maybe more towards the Midwest. What we've seen in years past when things like, obviously nothing like this has ever happened, but when things similar have happened, 2007, 2008 when the financial crisis happened and hospitals canceled all of their travelers, where was the safe haven? It was in the middle of the country. It didn't hit the middle of the country as hard as the coasts. That's just the thing. When censuses] drop or or whatever, it hits the coast first, maybe hits the Midwest last. We, being in the Midwest, are sometimes a little more insulated from that. Here's what you're going to run into though.

Rich Smith: It appears online that some of those bill rates, those super high bill rate jobs are still out there. They might be. If you take that job and you get canceled within two weeks and then you're quarantined for two weeks, is that really worth taking that $5,000 job? Did the $10,000 job really work out? Not from what I've seen, no. There may have been some, but a lot of those were in areas that were unsafe, that probably weren't very desirable in the first place. Once you got there, you were either canceled or it was so bad that travelers left. They quit. You see stories of those online too. We didn't want that for anybody. That's not something that we wanted for anyone. What do you do now?

Rich Smith: There's some good jobs in the middle of the country happening right now that are stable. Are the bill rates awesome? No, no, not really. Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, places like that. There are good hospitals with good contracts, with $65 bill rates, with $70 bill rates. It's not super sexy and flashy and awesome, but it's stable and you know for the most part that, when you go there, you're going to have what you need. You're not going to be exposed to the worst of the worst and it's going to get you through this. Two things to keep in mind through all of this is, one, keep yourself safe and then, two, this is the time to work with your recruiter to make sure your profile is most up to date. Your skills checklist is most up to date. Your references are most up to date because, at some point, the country reopens.

Rich Smith: Things will change, more jobs will open up and you're going to have more opportunities out there. When that happens, you want to be ready so you want to have all of those things ready to go. I know our message to our recruiters over and over and over again through all of this is you're going to work harder than you've ever worked before. Some of it is going to seem like busy work. It's going to seem like, "I don't know why I'm doing this right now. We can do this when the jobs open up," not the case. Do it right now. Get this stuff done so when it happens, you are ready. Trust me on this.

Rich Smith: I went through the 2007, 2008 stuff when the jobs dried up and the hospitals weren't using travelers at all. When things changed and when things turned, it was an explosion of jobs. It was one of the most frantic times I think I'd ever seen in the industry. Be ready, be prepared. This is in your DNA anyway. You do this at your job every single day. You are ready, you're prepared, you document. It's all part of what you do. Take that little piece, make sure that your resume, references, skills checklist, everything that you can do in your compliance file is as up to date as it possibly can be so when it does change, you are ready to go.

Rich Smith: I can't wait for things to get back to normal. I can't wait for the little things, to go out and be able to sit down and have beers with y'all again and do the meet and greets like we do. This is just how it is. This is how it is right now, and we're going to make the very, very best of it. It's changing. It's turning just a little bit. Stick with us. I promise you that you will not regret it when things change.